Our kids live in Seattle and we grew up in the age of Aquarius. Add that together and you get two 60-year-olds and their son on a trip to Uncle Ike’s, whose toll-free number is 1–800-GET WEED.
We enjoyed smoking pot “back in the day” but abstained (and denied) until our kids were grown. If you think the fun of children ends when they’re no longer little, try receiving some stash and a tiny pipe from your son as a 55th birthday gift. It was like someone handing us back our youth.
The husband and I made a weekend out of it by staying at a hotel within walking distance of a great Italian restaurant (we haven’t forgotten everything about this.) Giggling at different pasta names — Strozzapretti! Cavatappi! Tagliatelle! — was more entertaining than I could have imagined.
A whole new world
Fast forward to summer 2019. If you’ve never been to one of these cannabis outlets, it’s a real experience.
Clean glass cases beckon with every manner of smokable and edible marijuana. The day’s specials are listed on a large chalkboard and, for a dollar, you can buy a machine-rolled joint in a neat little case. All very professional. It was, by turns, embarrassing, exciting, and satisfying.
We’ve been dreaming of legal weed for decades. Why should some states get to have all the fun? Like cartoon characters with a new idea, light bulbs appeared over our heads. We — two law-abiding seniors — would somehow fool federal law enforcement and get an exciting package back to Georgia.
The diabolical plan
A bit of research revealed it is not safe to carry what the DEA calls a “Schedule I Substance” through an airport. That’s one point in our favor (spoiler alert: it’s the only one.) We settled on mailing the contraband.
My idea involved buying a new hardcover book, cutting out the middle pages to accommodate our purchase, then somehow shrink-wrapping the book so it looks brand new and unopened. Possibly I’ve seen one too many spy movies.
I won’t say my husband is a bad listener but, unlike me, he is a confident person who thinks he knows how to manage most situations. He is often half- hearing, having moved onto his next great thought rather than paying close attention to what he is being told.
Our son said to write a fake return address, pay cash and don’t use priority mail. We decided that Eric should go into the post office alone so I waited outside. And waited. Finally I walked in and. . .he was sending it priority! I quietly reminded him of the rule and he shushed me. Not a fan of shushing.
“Hey, how are you?”
“I’ve been better,” I snapped, “Listen, Dad mailed the package priority.”
I couldn’t tell if he was worried or bemused or just trying to bring mom in off the ledge but he said, “Don’t worry about it. As long as he paid cash it should be fine.”
“Eric, did you pay cash?”
“No. They don’t take cash for priority shipping.” Heaven help me.
By this point I was scared and furious and not thinking clearly but I decided he should go and try to get the package back. Was I attempting to mitigate disaster or just punishing him? It’s impossible now to say and I prefer not to examine this question too closely.
Visions of orange jumpsuits
While my husband/co-conspirator returned to the post office I looked out onto what might be my last glimpse of freedom. A second-hand clothing store called Trendy Wendy — I always meant to go in there and now I probably never would. A walk-up burger place where carefree people moved about while I contemplated life on the inside. Would we each get a prison term or just him? No sense in both of us going, right?
I’ve had nightmares about going to jail which is common. But my incarceration dreams focus, not on violence or even captivity, but on my food allergy. I dream there is nothing to eat without eggs so they give me a warm bruised apple and tell me to get over it. I wake up confused, shaken, and hungry.
I stood there and prayed, making deals with the Almighty as the truly scared are prone to do.
Here’s a text conversation between me and my son:
7/27/18, 2:38 PM — Cindy: He got it back. Not going to federal prison today. I want to give him holy hell but I promised God I wouldn’t.
7/27/18, 2:48 PM — Henry: How did he get it back?
7/27/18, 2:51 PM — Cindy: He told them he forgot to put something in.
7/27/18, 2:53 PM — Henry: I’m surprised that worked. If he does it again, make sure it’s after we go over everything. And yay to no federal prison!
Try, try again
A few days went by and nobody mentioned the Boomer Weed Fiasco. Finally, one day from departure, our cannabinoid elephant in the room demanded attention.
The new plan involved going to an unmanned post office kiosk right before boarding the airport train and pay cash. Our son signed off on this idea so I felt OK.
We must have called one postal facility and ended up at another because when we got there it was locked. We couldn’t get on the train, seeing our destination was a place filled with federal agents. So we looked furtively around like bad guys in a lame movie and placed the package in a trash can, with the plan to text our child/accomplice to pick it up later. Criminal masterminds, that’s us.
Text conversation between our son and his dad:
7/30/18, 11:48 AM — Eric: I left a box in the trash bin at the link station, corner of John and Broadway. Bin was empty so hopefully it will be there for a while.
Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. On reflection, wish I put it in the recycling.
Hours later. . .
7/30/18, 3:18 PM — Henry: No luck. Must have just gotten emptied.
7/30/18, 3:20 PM — Eric: Oh well. Paid an overdue stupid tax. Perhaps I should reevaluate my behavior 😖
7/30/18, 3:25 PM — Henry: Yeah, we definitely could have done better on this. Oh well, at least it wasn’t any huge amount of money. And more importantly, nobody got caught.
7/30/18, 3:35 PM — Eric: Right
Empty handed but free
I’m still wondering how my beloved thinks the recycling barrel would have been better. Moreover, I am struck by our son’s generous use of the word “we” in terms of the mistakes made.
Back home, we felt relieved to have dodged trouble but annoyed to have lost $100 and irritated in general about current marijuana laws.
Later that day I cleaned out my backpack. I reached inside and my hand found a small, slim hard plastic case. I knew immediately what it was — a pre-rolled joint I carried through two airports.
The universe always gets the last laugh.
Thanks for reading! Come visit me on Medium: Cindy Shore Smith